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As the use of Smart Grids escalates around the world, the IEC is busy updating some of its most requested International Standards. Technical Committee (TC) 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange, is working on the IEC 61850 series of Standards.
Energy, and especially electricity, is the golden thread that impacts the majority of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and furthermore, the development of every nation and economy. The UN recognizes electricity access as a key pillar for economic development because it helps to reduce poverty and hunger, improves educational opportunities and enables higher quality healthcare.
Protecting energy security and critical energy infrastructure against cyber attacks is fast emerging as an absolute priority. In mid-February, the EnergyPact Foundation organized an international conference in Vienna on cyber security aimed at protecting such infrastructure. Eyal Adar, an expert on cyber security, outlined the extent of IEC standardization and Conformity Assessment (CA) activities in the domain, giving details of the areas to which they apply.
The past year may not have seen significant breakthroughs in the tech world but 2017 is promising some interesting technological developments.
Achieving better Electrical Energy Efficiency (EEE) is a very broad task that extends well beyond the more efficient transformation of primary energy, chiefly fossil fuels, into electrical energy. It must be introduced in energy-intensive sectors like industry and buildings. Standardization work by numerous IEC Technical Committees (TCs) is central to this broader objective.
It has been a busy year for Systems Evaluation Group (SEG) 4: Low Voltage Direct Current (LVDC) Applications, Distribution and Safety for use in Developed and Developing Economies. During the IEC 2016 General Meeting (GM) in Frankfurt, SEG 4 Convenor, Vimal Mahendru, presented a final report to the Standardization Management Board (SMB). The SMB voted in favour of the proposal to set up a Systems Committee (SyC) for LVDC and LVDC for electricity access.
Nava provides insights into a Mexican programme that aims to increase energy efficiency with consumers and the need to encourage the take-up of renewable energy sources.
In hundreds of smart city projects around the world, governments, municipalities and private stakeholders are investing in smart grids, open data platforms and networked transport systems to meet the challenges of environmental sustainability, population growth and urbanization.
Energy in itself is not smart. What makes it smart then? The numerous technological advances that allow companies and household to use energy more efficiently.
Energy efficiency represents the biggest source of untapped energy in the world and, by helping slowing down final energy consumption, one of the main contributors in the reduction of noxious gases emissions. Improved electrical energy efficiency is made possible by standardization work performed by many IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and starts with electricity generation, distribution and storage.
Manufacturing continues to expand its geographic reach. Electrical and electronic goods now represent 17,7% of global trade and more companies than ever need to be able to collaborate and participate in the value chains that span the globe. IEC work uniquely enables this type of cooperation. Industry is a high priority for IEC, since most experts participating in our work come from it.
Traditionally, women have not been encouraged to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As a result, a low number has made it into this field. Standards are meant to improve the safety and quality of products and services used by everyone. However, to achieve this, they must include the significant physiological differences between men and women and their potential impact in daily situations.
During his address to Council, IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk highlighted the main achievements since Minsk and talked about important ongoing projects.
IEC work impacts all aspects of life. Electricity and electronics are the cornerstone for all economies in developing and developed countries. IEC International Standards together with IEC Conformity Assessment Systems support 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
From the smartphone alarm first thing in the morning to switching off the lights last thing at night, many products and systems in our daily lives run off electricity. We use the hairdryer, washing machine, stove, get on and off transport and walk through automated doors at the office, take the elevator, fire up the computer and purchase items online, expecting that everything will work reliably and safely.
Renewable Energy (RE) plays an increasingly important role in providing global populations with clean, affordable, sustainable energy. RE production and use continues to increase thanks to the falling cost of equipment and installation.
Information is gathered and decision making occurs at substation level in Smart Grids. The electricity-dispatching control centre deals with the strategic management of grid intelligence, while automated management handles transmission and distribution. An intelligent substation reports electricity consumption, switchboard operation, information gathering, and station decision making back to the electricity dispatching control centre. Generally, substations are unattended and rely on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) for remote supervision and control.
During the United Nations Climate Convention – 2015 Paris COP 21, it was recognized that renewable energy (RE) is a key part of the answer to achieving sustainable development and reducing the impact of climate change. Global electricity networks must adapt and include RE technologies.
We don’t think twice about using lights at home during the day or after dark. We have also got used to charging our smart phones wherever we are – at the airport, on a train or in the office – so that we can make online purchases, read the news, send messages, do banking or make a call. When we forget our phones or there is a blackout for an hour and we can’t watch television, use the computer or boil the kettle, we find it very annoying, but imagine if this were the norm.
World energy consumption is expected to grow by 37% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) energy markets forecast, which assumes the continuation of existing policies and measures and their implementation.
Over the last five years, the cost of renewable power generation technologies has dropped while the technology has improved. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
On 30 and 31 March 2016, the first International Conference on Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) took place in Beijing, China. The event was initiated by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Edison Institute and Caring for Climate (C4C), and co-organized among others with the IEC. Dr Shu, IEC Vice President and President of SGCC, and Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary & CEO, both presented how such a vision can be brought to reality, to an audience of more than 500 people.
On the one hand, energy efficiency is a new way of life that requires behavioural changes on the consumer’s part. On the other, the pressure is on the manufacturers of electrical equipment and devices to produce goods that consume as little energy as possible.
Energy is the life-blood of developed and developing economies. IEC work helps enable broad access to sustainable energy and directly supports UN Sustainable Development Goals. It does so by providing universally accessible technical know-how and expertise in the form of International Standards. With them countries are able to build safer, more affordable infrastructure that is easier to maintain. To be even closer to Africa, the IEC has now opened a Regional Centre for Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.